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Image of Joel Landy

© Gilles Perrin http://www.gilles-perrin.com/

Joel Landy
Business Owner, Developer

I always wondered why you see a lot of abandoned buildings. Why we didn’t fix ’em and the rest of the world did. But we have this culture here, more than anywhere in the world, that we want new. We don’t care if it only lasts five years. We don’t want old, we want new. We wrote laws that you couldn’t fix old buildings.

In Detroit, when we break even we’re happy. I didn’t get into it for the money. I believe that follows as long as you do the right thing, and you’re smart, and you’ve worked at it hard. This building, twelve years ago, I spent six million dollars to update it and do a historic renovation.

In 1982 there were ten of us fixing our houses down here, and we thought it would all be done in five years. (Laughing) We renamed it Midtown instead of Cass Corridor. And it is a finite area, the central city. It will fill in; this central city will fill in. This area is going to get all built out.

We are not going to be a farm community. We are a city, and we have factories and skyscrapers. People were really whining when the census came out. We had less than a million people, we had 750,000—but I love that. I have a city with skyscrapers and factories, and I know everyone.

From June 15, 2012, interview